Recognised as an underdog in the Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) crew, Ab-Soul’s become much of a secret weapon with his intellectually stimulating wordplay. Longterm Mentality saw Soul taking inspiration from the respective work independently put out by his LA-based peers. Control System was well received as it displayed the intelligent nature of the Black Lip Pastor’s lyricism, highlighting the depth of Soul with the themes explored: from pineal glands to politics.
With the release of his much-anticipated third effort These Days following the success of its predecessor, the Carson, California native has a lot of expectations to live up to these days (hardy-har). This latest LP sees Soul spitting about fame and fortune, about women and weed, while exploring religious themes over dark, menacing beats in tracks like ‘Stigmata’. Soul employs Migos’ triplet-flow on the outro to ‘Just Have Fun’. Coupling that full-bodied flow with a heavenly hook, it presents one of the better moments in These Days.
From moments of deep introspection to moments of shameless debauchery, the album has its defining sections with ‘Tree of Life’, ‘Hunnid Stax’, ‘Closure’, and ‘Ride Slow’. However, the beat switches are questionable transitional tools and tracks like the clubby DJ Mustard-inspired ‘Twact’ seem a little far off from what we’re used to hearing from Soul. Overall, coming from one of the most clever MCs in the game, what’s failed to be delivered in These Days is the clear, conscientious focus once observed in the previous two releases put out by the Black Lip Pastor.
LISTEN TO: ‘Just Have Fun’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Isaiah Rashad
RATING: 3 ½